“Don’t look at my face, look at my heart and character,” I read it over and over again to get a hidden message from the short write up on his bio.

Tears rolled down my eyes as I recalled our chatty and fun filled days. He was a brother, a friend, a soldier and a leader. He was jovial and fun to be with, he was more like an elder brother than a friend to me. He was Chima Udeani.

He was a brave young soldier, my best buddy. And it’s my duty to immortalise his memory in a book for the next generations to know that a great man by the name Chima Udeani once existed.

Chima was a private and calm guy who almost never spoke up for himself during secondary school. He was more of a smiler than a talker. He had intelligence, wit, charm and a caring heart that made him a great friend to all. He always spoke in the most glowing terms of how much his family meant to him. I never heard an ill word spoken of him during his years in school. He was kind, compassionate and a true gentleman. Sadly, there are a few people like that in the world today but death ends a life, not a relationship.

He was a hardworking young man among all his peers, and the best in terms of domestic activities. He most times cooked family meals, a born leader with organisational skill, a football lover and an ardent supporter of Liverpool, which few of his peers supported also. He liked football so much. During his childhood he was the football coach and manager among his peers. He organised them and registered the team in various tournaments.

Chima was someone everybody wanted to be with. He was cheerful, respectful, humorous and a reserved person. After completing his primary school he enrolled in Christ Saint International School, Okwuzi, where he got the nickname “Nothing Mega”. He went to school together with his close friend’s classmate, and trekked fifty minutes daily to school and one hour coming back due to distance of their school.

Chima was one of the fastest walkers. He was known as a very funny person by everyone who met him. In 2008 Chima changed to Egbema Grammar School in Okwuzi, where he wrote his Waec. Chima was a giver and someone who would never see a person in need. Even as a military man, Chima’s humility was still intact. You would never know he is a soldier in the community except he is on campus.

A fearless guy who loved keeping secrets a lot. After his secondary school, he joined his elder brother in Port-Harcourt (the capital of Rivers State) where he later registered for computer training. After completing his computer training program, he went into hypo business in a hypo company. He worked there for some time before moving into supplying of recharge cards to shops and individuals. He later got employed as a security with a company called ‘Air France’ in Port-Harcourt where he worked for some time before he started nursing the idea of joining the army.

He later resigned and applied as a security officer in a security firm where he was accepted and posted to Sapele in Delta State. He was harassed and detained by the Police (PMF) for using their dirty laundry (uniform) to cover his body and snapping it for upload on social media, although the night was cold that’s why he used their uniform. His older brother left Port-Harcourt for Sapela to solicit bail for Chima. He was finally released but lost his job with the security company, thus returning back to Rivers State.

He later made up his mind to join the army and went to purchase the form when it came out. He was lucky to be short-listed and was fit for recruitment and went to depot NA (Nigerian Army training ground; a camp for recruits. After months of training, he finally passed and was posted to Yobe State, located at the north east part of the country where Boko Haram Insurgents were terrorizing.

As a brave young soldier, Chima survived many encounters with Boko Haram and was a Trooper in the army. They were attacked by a terrorist group, Boko Haram, on the second day of November 2018, and a heavy gun battle ensued. Chima was shot by the terrorists during action but held his ground like the strong man he was. He later died when he ran short of blood.

At the age of 24 he died a hero, a friend, more like a brother. He was the real epitome of loyalty and honesty. He was buried at the Military Cemetary, Bauchi, the capital of Bauchi State. He is survived by a daughter.

At last I got the meaning of what was written; he meant that we should not judge his appearance but his actions.

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Dedicated to the memory of my late friend, Chima Udeani.

Full name: Chima Udeani
Nickname: Agunwa the Lion
Hometown: Omoku
Home state: Rivers State
Place of birth: Aggah Egbema, Onelga
State of birth: Rivers State, Nigeria
Death of birth: 17th February, 1994
Died: 2nd Nov 2018
Place of death: Military base Azare, Yobe Sate
Time of death: 1700hrs (GMT +1) / 5:30pm
Buried: 17th Nov 2018
Place of burial: Military Cementary Bauchi, Bauchi State.
Age: 24.
Army unit: Armoury
Survived by: A daughter

A special Thanks to: Omorjesu Norman, Chizoba Jovita and Mbama-Chris Franklyn Uzochukwo for their contribution in making this e-book a success.

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